PH's commitment to reform crumbles with new appointments - Analyst

08 Jan 2024 09:00pm
Anwar Ibrahim - Photo by Bernama
Anwar Ibrahim - Photo by Bernama

SHAH ALAM - While once a vocal critic of political appointments based on partisan interests, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's own government now faces scrutiny over similar practices.

According to National Professors Council Senior Fellow Datuk Dr Jeniri Amir, the current government is in apparent contradiction with its own ideals.

“This shift raises concerns about prioritising political interests over organisational interests, neglecting the importance of Government-Linked Companies (GLCs).

“The decision-making process appears to lack consideration for crucial factors such as qualifications, skills, experience, and knowledge and another essential criterion that should guide appointments to prevent the erosion of the principle of meritocracy,”Jeniri told Sinar Daily when contacted.

Jeniri referenced the recent appointment of PKR Wanita vice-chief Sangetha Jayakumar to the Port Klang Authority board.

He argued this move undermines Pakatan Harapan's commitment to curtailing political influence in state-owned enterprises, especially following their earlier efforts to purge such appointments after the 2018 election.

Beyond concerns about meritocracy, Jeniri also expressed worries about the potential risks associated with political appointments.

He cautioned that individuals leverage opportunities for personal gain and network benefits within GLCs, negatively impacting continuity, stability, and public trust in governance.

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He said the government should focus on injecting innovative ideas, improving performance, implementing effective policies, and fostering good governance practices to counter this.

"The appointments should ideally be based on a strong profile encompassing relevant experience, knowledge, ability, responsibility, and a positive and effective role.

While acknowledging PKR Wanita chief and Education Minister Fadhlina Sider's congratulations to Sangetha Jeniri distinguished such gestures from the broader issue.

He clarified that offering congratulations and highlighting Sangetha's role as a woman leader empowering others are normal acts of support and not indicative of undue influence.

Jeniri said Fadhlina gestures that emphasised Sangetha’s role as a testament to the commitment to empowering women in the corporate sphere are typically expressions of appreciation and should be acknowledged without doubt or dispute.

The announcement of Sangetha Jayakumar's placement was made last Saturday, and Wanita Keadilan celebrated her appointment with a digital poster shared on its Whatsapp group.